If the Final Four coaches were to play a game of two-on-two this weekend in Glendale, it wouldn’t be great basketball. Semifinal opponents Gonzaga and South Carolina are coached by guys who did not play in college, Mark Few and Frank Martin. North Carolina’s Roy Williams played just one year on UNC’s JV squad, while Oregon coach Dana Altman played at a junior college in Nebraska and Division II Eastern New Mexico. “I didn’t have many highlights as a player,” Altman said Monday on a conference call. “I was awful. I would have sure hated to coach me, that’s for sure.”
Contrary to what many believe, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball program does not simply attract the nation’s best players, show up for games, and dominate. There is a lot more to UConn’s incredible winning streak, which stands at 111 heading into Friday’s Final Four. To gain some perspective and insight as to how the Huskies do it, I spoke with players and coaches who have been a part of other long winning streaks (UCLA basketball, Mount Union football, UNC soccer, and more) in a story for Excelle Sports.
Some feel NCAA Tournament results determine a conference’s value. To use this year as an example, many people think the Big Ten having three teams in the Sweet 16 proves the conference was underrated this season. Others disagree, believing the ACC is still elite despite just one league team still remaining. In this debate, which I wrote about for CBS Local, everyone is right.
There are many talented young players still competing in the NCAA Tournament, and I wrote about two of them for CBS Local: Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey and South Carolina’s Chris Silva. The sophomores played important roles in helping their teams advance to the Sweet 16 and will be counted on again. Dorsey and the Ducks take on Michigan on Thursday night, while Silva’s South Carolina squad plays Baylor on Friday.
The women’s NCAA Tournament starts Friday. In an article for Excelle Sports, I look at the top players to watch.
After coming close the past few seasons, making the NCAA Tournament was more than just a goal for the Michigan women’s basketball team this season. It was an expectation. As I write for Excelle Sports, this team should have the résumé to get in and the talent to do some damage.
It was announced last week that the NCAA Tournament selection committee will release the top 16 seeds on February 11, a month before the real bracket is unveiled on Selection Sunday. I do not understand the point or the purpose of this decision, and we’ll probably never know if it has its intended effect.